AGCO bans all UFC bets after 'suspicious betting paterns'

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has told operators in the Canadian gambling region to stop accepting bets on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) immediately.

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The stunning move comes after the AGCO revealed its concerns about non-compliance with its integrity requirements.

The regulator has told operators in Ontario that each must meet the rules to safeguard against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other sports betting integrity issues.

The reason why only betting on the UFC has been affected is due to the UFC not prohibiting insiders – including trainers, coaches, fighters, managers and handlers – from betting on the brand’s events, which could lead to fight manipulation, cheating and illicit activity.

The AGCO said in a statement: "In recent weeks, the AGCO has learned of publicised alleged incidents, including possible betting by UFC insiders, as well as reports of suspicious betting patterns in other jurisdictions. Therefore, the AGCO is now taking this step in the public interest."

Furthermore, Tom Mungham, Registrar and CEO of the AGCO, added: “The Standards exist to protect the betting public and to provide the necessary safeguards against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other integrity issues. This is not a decision we take lightly, knowing the popularity of UFC events in Ontario’s sportsbooks.

“However, the risks of insider betting on event and wagering integrity should be highly concerning to all. It certainly is to us. We will continue to work with gaming operators, the OLG, iGaming Ontario and UFC to ensure that wagering on UFC events meets the AGCO’s Standards.”

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